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© RIA Novosti. Mikhail Fomichev

NHL aces to play in Moscow for charity

by at 29/08/2011 14:09


NHL stars Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin are putting on a show for their Russian fans with a rare appearance on this side of the Atlantic.

The duo will captain rival teams at a charity game on Wednesday, Aug 31, with all the proceeds going to Sergiev Posad’s orphanage for deaf and blind children, in a repeat of last year’s successful game.

“It was chosen because it is a practically unique orphanage; it works for all the country, not just for one city or region. And we think these kids need help,” said one of the organisers, presidential aide Arkady Dvorkovich.


Star participants

It’s a pro-am match, with current KHL stars Alexei Morozov, Maxim Afinogenov, and Sergei Fedorov set to be joined by veteran defenseman Vyacheslav Fetisov, football star Dmitry Sychev and Tatarstan’s hockey-loving president Rustam Minnikhanov.

“The benches and changing rooms are not made of rubber, so we had to limit the number of participants to 35,” Kovalchuk said.

However, even the businessmen and politicians will have to be able to hold their own, as only those who skate regularly were invited.


“Kovie has the best men”

Kovalchuk, who picked his team first, will captain Yevgeny Malkin, Arkady Dvorkovich, KHL president Alexander Medvedev, and all the best players, as Ovie complained to journalists.

“He always does that. He always takes the best players, and the best officials. But we will have Morozov and Zaripov, so we will be fine” he said.

Ovechkin said he did not know who would be in his team: “The most important thing is that I am in the squad.

“We could also call on Eto’o, but he might be a bit too expensive,” he joked.

“Our task is to win. Last year we won fair and square, but then the other team had important people, so it was difficult to argue the result.”


Russian children need help

Kovalchuk thanked the organizers, saying that “In Russia we have a lot of children who need help, and with our friends we will try to give these children a bit of joy.”

“Russia has always been and remains our motherland. Similar events happen in America, but as we are here in the summer, we try to bring joy to the children that live in our country.”


The game will be played at Spartak’s  Sokolniki arena at 7.30 pm. It will be shown live on Rossiya-2. Tickets will be available for free.

Read other articles of the print issue "The Moscow News #66"
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